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11th May 2021

Solace Responds to Planning Reforms Announced in Queen’s Speech

Tom Stannard, Solace deputy spokesperson for Infrastructure and Planning & Chief Executive of Salford City Council, said: “If the Government is serious about solving the housing crisis and delivering its target of 300,000 new homes a year, simply aiming to accelerate the planning process misses the main driver of slow build-out rates.

“With councils approving 9 in 10 planning applications, it is clear the planning system itself is not the reason for a lack of housebuilding. As Sir Oliver Letwin’s independent review from 2018 concluded, slow build-out rates are in fact down to developers unwilling to follow through on planning approvals.

“While we are supportive of commitments to increase housing supply and modernise the planning process this must not be at the expense of diminishing the views and role of local residents and elected members. The Government should instead focus on using its powers to ensure developers follow through on the high rate of permissions granted by councils.”